African airlines association protests EU ban of airlines

19:23, April 19, 2010      

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The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has lodged a formal complaint with the European Union over the blacklisting of some African airlines, an official said on Monday.

The association Secretary General Nick Fadugba disclosed this to reporters in Lagos, describing the ban as unjust.

The EU recently published a list of 13 African countries whose airlines are banned from flying into its airspace for what it called "safety concerns."

Fadugba said the International Civil Aviation Organization, rather than the EU, had the authority to publish such a list as the global regulator of the aviation industry.

"We want the blacklisting ignored. It is financially bad for African airlines," the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying.

The AFRAA Scribe said the blacklisting had damaged the reputation and businesses of the affected airlines, whose safety records and adherence to ICAO standards were comparable to the best airlines in the world.

According to Fadugba, the European airlines are the ultimate beneficiaries of the ban as they have reportedly, dominated the African skies.

"The majority of the banned African airlines had never operated scheduled flights to Europe and do not plan to do so as they have no aircraft with the range to fly to any EU state," he said.

"Many of the airlines only exist on paper and are not operational. Neither the operating license nor the ICAO registration numbers of most of the banned airlines are known," he added.

Fadugba urged Africa airlines to improve on their air safety records.

Source: Xinhua


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